You have gone, GB Thatha, you didn’t even wait
To have a quick glimpse of my face.
You did not leave early; I did not come late—
All’s perfectly right in our case.

To be born—it is scheduled—and a time to be dead,
Both equally part of God’s plan.
[Our Maker and Judge then to face, it is said
That it is appointed to man.]

Of your talents and kudos—achievements galore—
They’ll tell and I’ll swell up with pride.
In the end though, you didn’t care for praise anymore;
The currency changed with the tide.

As I grow more I’ll know more the steps that you took
To number your days from the start,
In trembling yet eager to follow the Book,
And with a contrite humble heart.

Of your faults, GB Thatha, they both chuckle and groan,
An obviously not-easy man,
But you lived by His strength in the light you were shown,
And you did it as well as one can.

Oh the chasm, which gaped twixt your God and yourself,
Uncrossable abyss of sin!
The cross of atonement that bridged that vile gulf
Brought peace where God’s anger had been.

Your Jesus didn’t stay dead for more than three days;
The stone rolled away from the grave.
God’s wrath was assuaged and sin’s penalty paid,
For our Saviour is mighty to save!

In the likeness of Adam of dust you did die,
But death is the last conquered foe.
In the likeness of Adam of heaven you’ll rise;
Praise Jesus, to live evermore!

When you preached that hell’s terrors are dreadful and real,
“Don’t play with your soul,” you would say.
“The stakes are so high,” you would fiercely appeal,
And then for your friends you would pray.

Let me then, dear Thatha, learn much from your life,
So one day I’ll meet you for sure,
After walking in meekness—be gladness or strife—
With MY Jesus most precious and dear.

You can check out this video I made for what would have been his 94th birthday.

My notes:

I am not sure how many in this generation would have heard of the poem by Lewis Carroll where the first verse goes like this:
“You are old, Father William,” the young man said,
“And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head—
Do you think, at your age, it is right?”
The entire poem is fun and if you haven’t read it, you can here.
And then it is even more possible that many are not aware that this fun poem is a parody of a perfectly serious regular poem by Robert Southey. To give you an idea, here are the last two stanzas, and you can read the poem in its entirety here

You are old, Father William, the young man cried,
⁠And life must be hastening away;
You are chearful, and love to converse upon death!
⁠Now tell me the reason I pray.

I am chearful, young man, Father William replied,
⁠Let the cause thy attention engage;
In the days of my youth I remember’d my God!
⁠And He hath not forgotten my age.

Both these poems have a young person and an old person conversing with each other. My poem in this post about GB is one-sided, but only because when Lydia gave me these photos last night, I did not have the time to be clever. But needing a meter to write to, I immediately thought of this one.